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Foster City Biotech's HIV Drug Gets Thumbs Up From Feds

FDA report says Gilead's Truvada reduces risk of HIV infection and is safe.

A drug produced by a Foster City-based biotech that can potentially reduce the risk of spreading HIV cleared a major hurdle today when Federal regulators said that Gilead's Science's Truvada tablets are safe and effective, Reuters reports.  

The Food and Drug Administration in a 47-page report said the drug may prevent the infection among high-risk individuals and is generally well tolerated, which makes it more likely to be taken regularly.

"The individual at risk may be spared infection with a serious and life-threatening illness that requires lifelong treatment," the report said.

Reuters describes the drug as a " potential milestone in the evolution of the worldwide AIDS epidemic by offering a tablet capable of preventing infection. "

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate 1.2 million Americans have HIV.

The FDA report will be reviewed on Thursday by an outside panel of experts. Their findings will be considered when federal regulators decide if the drug will be used as preventative treatment, Reuters reports.

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